I’ve had a LinkedIn profile since 2004, which was only a year after the network’s launch. That means I’ve been ignoring LinkedIn for going on 11 years now. Surely I must qualify for some kind of slacker seniority status. Hey, guys, where’s my badge?
It’s not that I don’t spend time on social media. I definitely do. For that same decade, I’ve been posting on Facebook nearly daily. Sometimes every hour, really, if there’s some hot button issue in politics I’ve let myself get sucked into a discussion about. And recently I’ve started doing more on Twitter too, feeding my feed three or four 140-character meals a day. And mostly for search engine mojo, I’ve even added Google+ (the verdict’s still out on the SEO benefit).
During all that Facebook-Tweeting-Plus, I just let my LinkedIn profile get dustier and dustier. Sure, every so often I’d make sure my current job was up to date. But otherwise, I’d visit LinkedIn about as often as I’d pay my estimated taxes — let’s say quarterly. That’s because the site felt about as appealing to me as an IRS Form 1040-ES.
But recently, I discovered three facts that have changed my attitude about LinkedIn:
1. Bigger than Twitter.
There are more than 364 million members of LinkedIn compared to about 302 active users of Twitter. So, think of all the effort you spend on Twitter — how to get more followers, what other feeds to follow, how to skim through your feed to see what really matters. Maybe you should be putting some of this effort into your presence on LinkedIn?
2. High quality.
One of three American professionals are using LinkedIn on an active basis. And LinkedIn members tend to be bigger spenders than the average online surfer — they usually have a job. And they’re usually not nine-year-old girls who are into Power Puff Girls. There was a reason that, when President Obama went on the Colbert Report to try to get millennials to sign up at Healthcare.org, an on-screen caption joked of a good way to reach young people: “Send request via LinkedIn.”
3. It’s not just for B2B marketing.
Rather it’s B2I — business to individual. People on LinkedIn are professionals but they’re also human beings, who have spending power and are people looking for things that may not always be directly related to their work. And it’s easy to target people by interests on LinkedIn, since the info is right in their profile. Now try that on Twitter.
Serious but not dull
Did you know that 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn? Quite handy to know if you’re trying to reach company CEOs.
Of course the vibe on LinkedIn is very different than on Twitter or Facebook. No cat pictures, no clever self-intros like “conflicted optimist” and definitely no profile pictures like this one:
But with all those people on LinkedIn with real jobs and an earnest interest to connect for professional benefit, the excitement of LinkedIn is very serious.
Given that, why wait? In this lively podcast from Copyblogger, Sean Jackson and co-host Mika Gadhia walk you through spiffing up your own profile then using LinkedIn well on an ongoing basis. For bloggers, they even tell you how to publish a post on LinkedIn’s Pulse network, helping you reach a bigger audience.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group